Kidney location is something we may not have been aware about. These two fist sized organs play a very important part in cleaning our blood and maintaining the balance of various compounds in our body. In this article we show you where kidneys are located and a few more interesting facts.
Kidney location is not a hard puzzle to solve. As webmd says “The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs on either side of your spine, below your ribs and behind your belly. Each kidney is about 4 or 5 inches long, roughly the size of a large fist”.
The foto on the left shows you the kidneys location in our body as well as an internal view.
Apart from the kidney location in our body we can think about its relation to other systems. Kidneys sit at the intersection of the cardiovascular system and the urinary tract.
Depending on how you think about it, the kidneys produce either waste, in the form of urine, or clean blood. Lets have a closer look at this.
Connection to the cardiovascular system
Given that the kidneys filter our blood they must be connected to the cardio vascular system. The kidney plays a very important role in our cardio vascular system. The kidneys help to regulated blood pressure, removes waste and excess water as well as manage the pH balance in the body.
The kidneys receive a continuous flow of blood. In fact, from 20 to 25 percent of the blood leaving the left ventricle of the heart enters the kidneys. This amounts to 1.2 litres of blood processed by the kidneys per minute! Per kidney that is 600ml each! Each kidney processes the volume of a modern bottle of soda per minute.
The kidney is connected to cardio vascular system by the renal arteries and renal veins. The renal artery carries blood away from the heart and into the kidney. This is the blood that will be processed by the kidney. The renal vein carries blood to the heart and away from the kidney. This is the blood that has been cleaned by the kidney.
Connection to the urinary tract
The kidney connections to the urinary tract is done via the Ureter. The Ureter runs from the center of the kidney, where the waste urine collects, and runs to the bladder. The urinary tract then leaves the bladder via the Urethra.
The extraction of waste water and other compounds to form Urine is carried out by the Nephron. The nephron is the functional unit of the kidney. In the kidney there are approximately 1 million nephrons! In very simple terms, nephrons filter the blood via a series of chemical and physical filtration steps. A nephron will remove all molecules from the blood that need balancing and then allow them to reenter the blood further on along the nephron. Then the blood re-enters the cardio vascular system and the urine heads along the urinary tract.
The processes by which the kidney does this is fascinating. The kidneys location at the intersection of the cardiovascular and urinary tract system can be understood by understanding what happens in the nephron.
Finally in this article we will look at how the kidneys develop when we are in the womb. Did you know as we develop in the womb we develop three different kidneys?
The first two kidneys are absorbed before arriving at the final one. Below you can see an animation of the development of these kidney in-utero. This video shows the development of the male kidneys and you can see the kidneys location.